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The Villages
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

I’m just a Jersey Girl

Lisa DeMarco

I have been told that I was born a little rascal. If you ask my older sisters, they will tell you I came out of the womb talking smack and searching for the spotlight. As the baby of three “Daddy’s Girls,” it took everything in me to catch up to everyone around me. Unfortunately, I learned from bad examples. It never bothered me whether I got good attention or bad. I learned to wrap up both in a pretty bow and turn it into something appealing to me. Growing up, I was a prankster. If for no other reason than it kept me amused. I was a master of making up tall tales and embracing the power of shocking others. I like to believe it’s my “Jersey Girl” way. 

When I was pregnant, carrying over 40 pounds more than my usual 100 pounds soaking wet, I loved to mess with strangers all the time. Having no shame and still sporting a bikini – with my now 40-inch waistline, it really was too easy. It was like an episode of “Spring Break on Candid Camera.”

By just turning sideways in the surf, I could create a wave effect from young visitors on the sand in Daytona Beach. If you got a glimpse of me from behind, I looked like an average slim woman catching some waves until I’d turn, and you’d see my side view. My husband, Joey, would sit back on his lounge chair and laugh. He enjoyed watching and listening to the comments people around him were making in reaction to his wife waddling out of the water. Then, to make matters worse, at least one person always had the nerve to approach me, asking, “When are you due?”

To which I would reply with a surprised look on my face, “Do what?”

Then, as the stranger’s facial expression changed dramatically, and they looked like they wanted to hide their head in the sand, I’d giggle, “I’m just kidding. I am pregnant.” 

Most times followed by a sigh of relief before they’d shake their head and walk away. 

When my younger daughter was being baked, my older cupcake, Amanda Jeane, was turning five. She disapproved of my swimwear choices. She would tell me that I should no longer wear a two-piece. I would try to explain to her that I wore the same type of bathing suit when she was in my belly. She would respond, “But I didn’t have to see it!”

After Makenzie Rae was born, Amanda Jeane became very protective of her BIG little sister. Because Makenzie Rae weighed nearly 10 lb at birth, people constantly commented on her chunk. Usually followed by something like,  “You know that SKINNY mama couldn’t have birthed that FAT baby.”  

Amanda Jeane would get so mad. With one hand on her hip and the other waving her index finger, she would say,  “My mother doesn’t like to be called skinny, and don’t you call my baby sister fat!” 

Spoken like a true Jersey girl, even though she was born and raised in Central Florida. Talk about the apple not following far from the tree. Luckily everyone thought she was adorable, so neither of us ever got smacked for our Big Mouth/ Little Body disorder. 

Nowadays, my grandson, Jeremy, has righteously taken his position on our family tree of wise guys. I am sure my father, Papa Teddy, is so proud!

Laugh on. Peace out!

Lisa DeMarco is a columnist for Villages-News.com.

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